Identità Coast to Coast: from the 9th edition in New York to the 1st in Los Angeles

After closing at Eataly Flatiron with a spectacular Dine Around dinner, we landed in California. Theme and chefs

09-10-2018

The team from Osteria Francescana opened the Dine Around dinner, the final act after three days of Identità New York. On Friday 5th and Saturday 6th October, it was time for the first edition of Identità Los Angeles (in the photo by Brambilla/Serrani, left to right Alexa and Massimo BotturaDavide Di Fabio and Francesco Vincenzi)

After the ninth edition of Identità New York, with a great feast that acted as a prelude to the following stage, we arrived on the West Coast, in Los Angeles, for the first time in a 15-year-old career.

Let’s move one step at a time. After 5 lessons at the Scuola (Pepe/RavagnanVirgilio MartinezBotturaBowerman and Cracco), 314 guests bought all the available tickets for the Dine Arounditinerating event through 6 stations (and 6 shifts) at Eataly Flatiron. Here’s the line-up at work from 6 pm to midnight: Massimo Bottura opened with Rice, Virgilio Martinez continued with Fish, then France Pepe with Pizza, Carlo Cracco with Pasta, Francesco Mazzeis team with Meat and Cristina Bowerman with the Dessert. A happy ending, as you’ll see from the photos.

«People love the Dine Around format», said Paolo Marchi, «because it’s fun and erases the boredom of having to sit for hours in the same place. Guests are always moving, it has a nice dynamic energy». An overall assessment of the experience in the Big Apple: «We’re very happy because for the first time Italian chefs held their lessons by themselves and not in pair with their American colleagues as in the past. This means our cuisine is definitely very appealing and interesting».

314 guests at the Dine Around dinner, divided into 6 shifts

314 guests at the Dine Around dinner, divided into 6 shifts

Pizza Grana, Pepe e Fantasia by Franco Pepe

Pizza Grana, Pepe e Fantasia by Franco Pepe

Rice between Duck à l’orange and Peking duch by Massimo Bottura

Rice between Duck à l’orange and Peking duch by Massimo Bottura

Carlo Cracco

Carlo Cracco

Glazed veal cheek with black cabbage, ‘nduja and ginger, by the team of Francesco Mazzei

Glazed veal cheek with black cabbage, ‘nduja and ginger, by the team of Francesco Mazzei

Cristina Bowerman

Cristina Bowerman

Franco Pepe and Carlo Cracco

Franco Pepe and Carlo Cracco

Virgilio Martinez

Virgilio Martinez

Raw duck in escabeche by Virgilio Martinez

Raw duck in escabeche by Virgilio Martinez

Federico Kaus from the Identità team, and Simone Petullà of the Mazzei team 

Federico Kaus from the Identità team, and Simone Petullà of the Mazzei team 

«I liked the lesson by the only non-Italian chef, Martinez, who spoke like Bottura of contamination, a crucial word which I would use to replace ‘assimilation’, a word that has a negative nuance, a synonym of forced adaptation. Contaminating means breaking walls and drawing the best from every culture, through comparison».

Then came the Coast to Coast. «For us it’s thrilling to go to Los Angeles. In the mind of the Italians, America means New York, Grand Canyon and California: Los Angeles and San Francisco. The West Coast is the successful completion of almost ten years of hard work. It’s as if, at the end of act one, we’re now ready for the following act, with sounder foundations and more experience. We can’t wait to begin».

Cristina Cavalchini Guidobuono from Riso Buono and Dino Borri from Eataly New York

Cristina Cavalchini Guidobuono from Riso Buono and Dino Borri from Eataly New York

Franco Pepe with Luca Pedata of Carlo e Camilla in Segheria

Franco Pepe with Luca Pedata of Carlo e Camilla in Segheria

Lidia Bastianich and Massimo Bottura

Lidia Bastianich and Massimo Bottura

Monograno Felicetti Fusillone Matt, sorrel, smoked mackerel and black garlic by Carlo Cracco

Monograno Felicetti Fusillone Matt, sorrel, smoked mackerel and black garlic by Carlo Cracco

Condensed milk, espresso gelatine, Baileys gelato and almonds, Cristina Bowerman’s dessert

Condensed milk, espresso gelatine, Baileys gelato and almonds, Cristina Bowerman’s dessert

In the glasses, bubbles by Cantine Ferrari

In the glasses, bubbles by Cantine Ferrari

The beers at Identità New York: Birra del Borgo

The beers at Identità New York: Birra del Borgo

The location of the first edition in Los Angeles, on October 5th and 6th was the new-born  Eataly in Beverly HillsThe leitmotif of the three lessons and the final dinner was Fuoco, Fire, «the most ancient source of heat and cooking known to man, which we now must tame with a contemporary approach». From New York Massimo BotturaCarlo CraccoFranco Pepe and Lello Ravagnan arrived with the Identità team. They were joined in California by Corrado Assenza, the master pastry-chef from Caffè Sicilia in Noto, and Marco Stabile of Ora d’Aria in Florence, famous for his Bistecca Perfetta, Perfect Steak.

The scheduled events: 

Friday 5th October
at noon 
Lesson by Massimo Bottura

at 6pm 
Lesson by Corrado Assenza and Carlo Cracco on “Sweet and Savoury Pasta”

Saturday 6th October
at noon 
Lesson by Franco Pepe and Marco Stabile on “Pizza and Grill”

at 8 pm 
Dinner at Terra, inside Eataly Los Angeles, with Corrado Assenza, Carlo Cracco, Franco Pepe, Lello Ravagnan andMarco Stabile. Host of the night: Lidia Bastianich.

Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso


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